Going BYOD? “Responsive Design” will help you get there

Brian McNamara HeadshotPosted by Brian McNamara

We’veResponsive Design talked about “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) in this blog recently – and about how many organizations within corporate learning and higher education are either starting to embrace the idea, or – at the very least – start planning for how they can be ready for it in the future.

In fact, one of my recent blog articles focused on a few practical tips on how to optimize your online assessments for the broadest range of devices and browsers possible.

But today we’re going to take a look at how “responsive design” technology built into the latest release of Questionmark OnDemand will make the jump to supporting BYOD delivery of online assessments much, much easier.

Check out the video below for a look at how you can author a Questionmark assessment once, and then deliver it at a broad range of screen resolutions and to many different types of devices – from laptops to tablets to smartphones.

We have plenty of resources available to you. “How-to” videos and brief presentations about best practices, will give you valuable pointers about authoring, delivery and integration in our Learning Cafe. We also share presentations and videos on our SlideShare page.

Video: How to create hotspot questions for quizzes and tests

Brian McNamara HeadshotPosted by Brian McNamara

In the past couple of months we’ve been excited to share new assessment authoring features that you can use in Questionmark Live.

We have most recently discussed the built-in math formula editor and a LaTeX formula editor.

Today, I have put together a video on how you can easily and seamlessly author a hotspot question in Questionmark Live. In this demonstration, I create a basic anatomy hotspot question and upload an image where a participant will mark their answer. This is a simple-to-use but very exciting tool that allows you to accurately define your hotspot region.

Check out the video below or in our Learning Cafe:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_RpEb80_wg]

This capability and many others will be demonstrated the Questionmark Users Conference in Baltimore next week Register online by Friday!

Sharing test results automatically via email

Posted by Joan Phaup

When someone passes a test, it’s easy to tell them the good news automatically via email.

To do so, you need to have a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service running on the application server. Then set up your test to associate an automatic email with a particular assessment outcome.

When you open Questionmark’s Authoring Manager and locate your assessment in your repository, use the Assessment Editor to enable “Email” from a list of Assessment Outcome settings and tick “Participant” as the email recipient. The
email will be sent when the participant achieves the passing score.

This is just one type of email you can request. You could also use emails to tell managers how people who report to them have performed on a test – or to inform instructors of people who need remedial instruction. And you are not limited to pass-fail notifications: you can include details about scores and other details, too.

Easier collaboration in Questionmark Live

Posted by Julie Delazyn

We always like sharing news about Questionmark Live, our browser-based assessment authoring tool, on the blog, including the recent addition of hierarchical topics. Another big change is the new interface, which makes it easier than ever for subject matter experts and test designers to collaborate on an assessment. We’ve made it very easy to share topics and subtopics.

How does it work? Simply click the share button, as you can see in the screen shot below, and type the email of the person you would like to share the subtopic with. The recipient will receive an invitation to view the topic in Questionmark Live (to see context) and the sub-topic they can work in. It’s that easy.

The subtopic folder that you shared will now display a green arrow, as shown in the screenshot below. Click on the number beneath the “No. of Revisions” column to track a question’s revision history as well as to see who edited the question and which changes were made. You can also compare the different versions of the same question and roll back to a previous version. Learn more about revision history in Questionmark Live in this blog post.

Ensuring question text is accessible

Posted by Noel Thethy

This post is part of the accessibility series I am running. Here we will look at ensuring text and table elements are accessible.

We have done our best to ensure that Questionmark’s participant interface is readable via screen readers. However, to ensure these work as expected you need to make sure that:

  • The text you use does not contain any inline styles that may confuse a screen reader.
  • Any tables in your content use captions and header information to ensure the screen reader can distinguish content.

If you have copied and pasted text from another application, particularly Microsoft Word, you may find when looking at the HTML code that the question contains extraneous HTML. For example, when content is copied and pasted from Microsoft Word, the text copied will appear as follows in the HTML tab.



The text copied includes HTML mark-up tags which override the style determined by the templates and could affect how a screen reader interprets what is on the screen. The HTML used to provide the formatting can be viewed in the HTML tab of the Advanced HTML Editor in Authoring Manager and should be cleaned up as much as possible.

Alternatively, Questionmark Live automatically removes any style HTML that may be included from applications such as Word or other Internet pages. To find out more about Questionmark Live, please click here: Questionmark Live

If you are using tables, we recommend that you build them following the W3C guidelines rather than the default tables available. They should ideally look something like this:






By using the <caption>, <thead> and <tfoot> tags in your table you can clearly identify parts of the table to be read by the screen reader.

For more information see the W3C recommendations for non-visual user agents. These tables can be added by using the Advanced HTML Editor in Authoring Manager.

Making media and images within assessments more accessible

Posted by Noel Thethy

This post is part of the accessibility series I am running. We will look at using media and images in questions and how to ensure these are accessible.

A number of media files can be included in a question/assessment. However, if you are interested in producing accessible assessments you should consider the following:

  • Ensure color is not the only way to distinguish among different pieces of stimulus or answers. Common forms of color blindness (affecting up to 5% of the population) could make answering questions difficult. You should, where possible, change how the information is portrayed or include other indicators.











When including graphics always include ALT (Alternative) text. This will be displayed when a participant hovers the mouse pointer over an image or if a screen reader is being used.

  • If you are using Adobe Flash media, make sure that it has been created in an accessible fashion.  Refer to the Adobe guidelines for Flash  and Captivate.
  • If you are using video or audio in a question you should include a transcript. You can include a transcript in several ways:
  • Link to a document that includes a transcript (Remember if you are including the transcript as a PDF you should also make sure this is accessible as well. See the Adobe guideline here)
  • Embed a YouTube video, using the Closed Caption feature to include subtitles of any dialog in the video.Provide a video transcript within an assessment, using Questionmark’s Side-By-Side template.

(My advice and recommendations may or may not be suitable for your particular situation, so be sure to take into account your organization’s accepted practices and pedagogy.)